SSS staff rallies to support TRIO Day 2004

Members of Southern Nazarene University’s Student Support Services (SSS) staff will participate in a special rally at the State Capital House of Representative’s Chamber and Gallery today at 10 a.m. to show their appreciation and support for our nation’s TRIO Programs. The Oklahoman Division of Student Assistance (ODSA) is hosting this celebration to heighten the level of awareness of TRIO programs and services throughout the state of Oklahoma.

According to Loral Henck, Director of SNU’s SSS program, “This rally is being held because we want more people to know about the services of the TRIO Programs. We also want the legislature to know that this federal program works and should be expanded to serve more Americans from disadvantaged families.”

For millions of Americans who have college potential but lack the wherewithal to go it alone, seven federally-funded programs called TRIO are making a world of difference.

Unlike student financial aid programs which help students to overcome financial barriers to higher education, the TRIO Programs (Talent Search, Upward Bound, Upward Bound Math/Science, Veterans Upward Bound, Student Support Services, Educational Opportunity Centers, and the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program) have been providing valuable support services to help students from disadvantaged families successfully enter college and graduate for over 30 years.

TRIO programs are supported and funded through the United States Department of Education. TRIO programs provide educational opportunities to low-income, first generation students, as well as students with disabilities. Students that receive assistance range from elementary school through college.

Last year 27,093 Oklahoma students benefited from 75 TRIO programs. These federal programs generate over $22 million dollars annually to the state of Oklahoma.

Today over 1,200 colleges, universities and community agencies host over 2,600 TRIO Programs serving 823,000 young people and adults. Students enrolled in today’s TRIO Programs mirror our nation’s multi-cultural and multiethnic society. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of TRIO students are White, 35% are African-American, 19% are Hispanic, 4% are American Indian and 4% are Asian-American. Sixteen thousand (16,000) TRIO students are disabled.

According to Dr. Arnold Mitchem, President of the Council for Opportunity in Education, an education association, which represents TRIO students, college, graduates, counselors and teachers nationwide, “These programs work because they are student-centered, performance-based and non-bureaucratic.”

In 2001, the U.S. Department of Education provided Southern Nazarene University a 1 million dollar grant to be used over a 5 year period for the establishment of the Student Support Services program on the SNU campus. The SSS program at SNU provides qualified students with a variety of services which include: tutoring; personal and financial counseling; career counseling; special instruction in reading, writing, study skills, and mathematics; assistance in applying for financial aid; academic advisement and support; referrals to campus and community resources; orientation to campus activities; university life workshops; cultural events and activities; technology lab and study center. To date, the SSS program at SNU has served 125 participants since the program’s inception in August of 2001.

The Oklahoma TRIO Programs continue to provide services to all of Oklahoma in efforts to promote the National Presidential Initiative “No Child Left Behind.”

For more information, contact the SNU Office of Student Support Services at 405.491.6694.